Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Reopen to Record Highs; Crude Slumps

Crude oil is on pace for a 3% weekly loss

Dec 26, 2014 at 11:48 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is continuing Wednesday's record-setting run -- rallying to a fresh intraday peak of 18,103.45 earlier, before easing back to its present perch at 18,080.03. Not to be outdone, both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Russell 2000 Index (RUT) tagged their loftiest marks on record -- 2,091.77 and 1,215.25, respectively. Elsewhere, crude oil is extending its slide, with the February-dated contract down 0.7% at $55.44 per barrel -- and on pace for a 3% weekly drop.

Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

  • Eleventh-hour Visa Inc (NYSE:V) bulls are betting on a record-high settlement at tonight's close.
  • 2 names that got hit by hackers on Christmas Day.
  • Plus ... Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.

Midday Market Stats

Among the stocks with notable put volume is Redbox parent Outerwall Inc (NASDAQ:OUTR). The stock is down 0.8% at $72.27, and put volume has soared to 11 times what's typically seen at this point in the day. The majority of the day's action has centered on OUTR's January 2015 50- and 62.50-strike and February 70 puts, where it appears one speculator is selling to close the front-month contracts and buying to open the back-month options, as she rolls her bearish bet up and out.

For more midday statistics and stocks on the move, head to page 2.

Alternative energy issue JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE:JKS) is one of the major advancers on the Big Board, amid a sector-wide surge. At last check, the stock is up 4.2% at $19.58, and is on pace to close north of its 10-day moving average for only the second time this month. Heading into today's session, the security was staring at a nearly 36% year-to-date deficit, yet option traders have kept the faith. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, JKS' 50-day call/put volume ratio of 7.12 ranks in the 91st annual percentile. With 22.2% of the equity's float sold short, though, a portion of this call buying may have been a result of shorts hedging against an unexpected rally.

Airline issue Virgin America Inc (NASDAQ:VA) is one of the biggest advancers on the Nasdaq. The stock is extending Wednesday's analyst-induced momentum, up 7% to trade at $43.88, and earlier hit a fresh record peak. Since going public in mid-November, the shares have rallied almost 63%, and option traders think there's more upside on the horizon. Over the course of the past two weeks, speculators at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX have bought to open 250.80 calls for every put.

Daily Chart of VA Since November 2014

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up fractionally at 14.39; however, the market's "fear gauge" is on track for a 12.7% week-over-week loss.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.24, with puts having the edge over calls. At last check, SPY is up 0.9 point, or 0.4%, at $208.62.

 

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